Resources for teens and parents

Tina Meier, Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation, talks about the resources available to kids and adults that can help with bullying
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Resources for teens and parents

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I think there are phenomenal resources out there for teens and parents. There are places out there such as Pacer has a great website with many resources. We also look at StopBullying.gov. They have phenomenal resources not only for parents but for educators. But what I have really found is that great to have all kinds of documentation, but people want to see interaction. They want to see pictures. They want to see videos. So things like KidsintheHouse.com that I'm doing today. These are phenomenal resources for parents and for kids because now we can hear somebody talking about it. It makes a huge impact. So if it's 3 o'clock in the morning and they're struggling with their teen, they can click onto a video and now they have more interaction and it feels more real. And that's really want we want to bring to our site too. So the Megan Meyer Foundation has some great stuff. But I think that when we look at this, at the end of the day for parents, it's finding what makes them comfortable. It's finding what really they connect with. There's a phenomenal resource out there called Teen Line, which is a hotline. And it's actually in Los Angeles, and they have teen to teen peers. And these teen listeners, students can call in, teens can call in from all over the world. And they will listen to them. They will guide them. And if there is a life-threatening situation, they professionals there that can step in and make sure they get the help. The biggest thing that we want parents and teens to understand is that they're not alone. That we really do care. And there are phenomenal people out there that will take the time to help them. Sometimes, again, I talk about the doors being closed. We many times have gone through those doors being closed in our face. But we have to open up that door, go through to the next door, and find that resource that fits our family lifestyle, helps our team and that's where we focus our time, and not worry about the other ones that didn't help in the past. Work with the one that's helping you and your family.

Tina Meier, Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation, talks about the resources available to kids and adults that can help with bullying

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Tina Meier

Executive Director

Tina Meier is an internationally recognized expert on bullying, cyberbullying, internet safety, conflict resolution, the roles of parents and educators, sexting, and suicide awareness and prevention.

On October 16, 2006, Tina Meier’s life took a devastating turn when her 13 year old daughter, Megan Taylor Meier, took her own life. All attempts were made to save Megan, but unfortunately Megan passed away on October 17, 2006, just weeks from her 14th birthday.

Approximately 5 weeks prior to her passing, a 16 year old boy by the name of Josh Evans, contacted Megan through her MySpace account and they began a friendship. Tina Meier, allowed Megan to have a MySpace account with many restrictions and under her watchful eye.  Unfortunately, on that fateful day of October 16, 2006, Josh Evans and Megan began to have an argument over MySpace.  A few others joined in and horrible and hurtful messages and bulletins went out publicly to hundreds of kids. The last words that were said to Megan from Josh were, “The world would be a better place without you” and “Have a shi**y rest of your life.”

Six weeks after Megan’s suicide, Tina Meier was informed that Josh Evans never existed. In fact, he was the fictitious creation of Lori Drew, an adult neighbor that lived down the street, her 13-year-old daughter Sarah, which was Megan’s former friend, and an 18-year-old employee that worked out of Lori Drew’s home.

In December of 2007, Tina Meier, founded the 501 (c)(3) non-profit Megan Meier Foundation.  The Foundation’s mission is to “create awareness, education and promote positive change to children, parents and educators in response to the ongoing bullying and cyberbullying in our children’s daily environment.” Tina’s hope is to make a difference through spreading Megan’s story, create awarness regarding internet safety, and educate others on the consequences of bullying and cyberbullying. She hopes to help one child at a time cope with these negative social issues. Ultimately, her goal is to empower children to be the change and continue the Foundation’s mission.

At the time of this tragedy, the State of Missouri did not have laws in place to prosecute someone using electronic communications to cyberbully another person. Tina worked closely with Senator Scott Rupp and Governor Matt Blunt’s Internet Task Force for the State of Missouri to help pass Senate Bill 818, which went into law on August 28, 2008. This law amended the harassment and stalking laws to include electronic communication.

Each year, Tina travels throughout the country as a keynote speaker addressing the issue of bullying and cyberbullying in today’s world to students, educators, administrators, parents, youth rallies, counselors, law enforcement, and other professionals. Through Tina’s inspirational and educational message, the audience is empowered to make a difference not only for themselves, but others also.

Tina has continued to spread the Foundation’s message and Megan’s story through national and international media appearances such as network television stations, radio, news shows, magazines and syndicated talk shows. She also accepted a Presidential invitation to attend the 2011 White House Anti-Bullying Conference, presented at the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug Free Schools National Conference in Washington, DC, and served as a consultant during the production of the ABC Family movie, Cyberbully.

Tina Meier resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with her daughter Allison. 

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